[Tweet “"We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance." – Japanese Proverb”]
You want to launch a new product, or blog, or ebook, but you don’t have the funds (or the time) to organize a river cruise or to hire out the top floor of the Empire State Building.
There is another way.
As fun as it would be to host a red carpet event with a VIP guest list, you can reach out to a much wider audience at a much lower cost, and still have a blast doing it.
Host a Twitter Party.
At a Twitter Party, you bring people together from all over the world to build up buzz about something your brand is doing. Parties make superb launch events, whether what you’re launching is a
- New Product
- New Book
- New Business Venture
- New Partnership
- New Logo (or any re-branding)
Or… you can do it just for fun!
Parties are ideal for meeting with new people, reconnecting with clients, giving people an insider view of your business, and letting potential customers know how your business can help them.
Twitter is perfect for making this happen on a budget. The key is in the name. Social media is about being social.
Let the good times roll. Here are our top tips for hosting a stellar Twitter party.
1. Get to Know About Party Power
Twitter parties are a lot like real life parties in that they’re about having a good time and meeting fascinating people.
But it’s not all fun and disco lights. Twitter parties can leave you with a smile on your face, and not only because of the new friends you made. Hosting a Twitter party can give your business a solid, measurable boost, including:
- More Twitter Followers, Facebook Likes and email subscribers.
- Increased website traffic in the build-up, during the party, and after the event.
- The potential for your brand to go viral.
Parties are a cost-effective marketing tool that get people talking and feeling good about your brand. The people you meet in your Twitter party could become customers, investors, business partners, or simply raving fans of your brand.
Business is all about people, and parties bring people together.
Before you host your own Twitter party, it’s a good idea to attend someone else’s. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people on a level playing field. It’s also an opportunity to learn something new, and to see what works and what doesn’t when organizing a Twitter event.
2. Send Out Invites: Promote Your Party
A party without people is a party pooped. What makes parties work is having guests turn up. That means sending out invites. To do this you can:
- Tweet about your party. As your party is on Twitter, it’s the natural place to start. You’ll have a party hashtag (more on that later), and you can start to introduce the hashtag through your invite tweets. Ask your followers to spread the word too. Don’t over-tweet about your party, but bear in mind that some people will miss your first tweet, or need reminders, so putting out one or two tweets a day on your party is fine.
- Let your other social media fans know. Whether it’s creating a Facebook event or posting a beautifully designed invite to Pinterest, reach out to all your followers and fans about the party, not just those on Twitter.
- Create an invitation page on your website. A few weeks before your party, set up a page on your website that gives people all the details they need to attend, including the date, time, hashtag, and why they should come along (giving away a price is always a good enticement). You can and should link to this page whenever you shout about your party on social media.
- Email your friends, family, business network, and anyone else who’d like to attend. Including your email list. Let them know to pass on the invitation to their friends too.
- Ask for RSVPs. Will anyone show up? It’s the nightmare of any host to put in hours of preparation only to have Alan from next door plus his labrador and no one else show up. On the invitation page, include an RSVP form, where people who plan to attend give you their email address. To entice people to give their contact details, you can enter them into a prize draw if they RSVP. Then you can send out emails to your new list to build up anticipation, plus add those who attended to your email list.
Remember: Twitter parties are open events. You’re aim isn’t to invite a select group of VIP guests, but to spread the word as far and wide as possible. Do everything you can to let people know the who, what, when, how, where and why.
3. Prep Your Venue: Choose a Party Hashtag
Getting Twitter all glammed up for a party is incredibly simple. You don’t need a DJ, music, special lighting, food or an interior designer. All you need is a hashtag.
Even so, there’s an art to choosing an effective hashtag. We recommend that you:
- Keep it simple and direct. This isn’t the place for subtle humor. Your hashtag should clearly relate to your brand, or the theme of your party. During the party, everyone who attends will be tweeting with the hashtag, and their followers will be curious about what’s going on.
- Make it short and sweet. The fewer the characters the better, because you don’t want hashtags hogging the tweets.
- Check it’s not taken. Do a quick Twitter search or check hashtags.org to make sure your hashtag isn’t already taken. You wouldn’t want to rain on someone else’s parade, and more important, you don’t want them raining on your parade.
- Add the hashtag definition to Hashtags.org. That’s your way of staking your claim on the hashtag.
Infographic courtesy of Gremln.com.
4. Decide Your Party Theme
To get people talking, you need something to talk about. If you’re launching a product, book, or business, of course the party is about this. But even then, it’s a good idea to have a theme, because interesting as your book, product or might be, people aren’t going to want to talk about it for two hours.
The theme should be clear, relevant to whatever you’re launching (if anything), or at least relevant to your business, and should be something you know potential customers will enjoy talking about.
Having a striking theme gets people talking and ensures they’ll have a good time. People will remember you for the experience you give them. If they have a rollocking time, they’ll associate your brand with the good feelings they got from hanging out on Twitter with your party team.
5. Your Party Playlist: Write Your Script
Once you’ve decided your theme, you’re ready to prepare your party script. I can hear you protesting now: “But I want the conversation to be spontaneous!”
Everything spontaneous flows out of a rhythm or structure. Spontaneous art requires a blank canvas and paints. In a jazz band, the soloist who improvises does so against a steady backing rhythm.
If you want conversation to appear to flow spontaneously, you need to create the channel for it to flow down. This is your party script.
It’s just like how DJ’s prepare a playlist ahead of time. Sometimes they’ll go off script if they can see the party’s going in particular direction, but they’re always got the script as a fall back.
Your script can be in depth, and you can get a group of close friends on board to decide on exactly what you’ll talk about when. Or it can be looser – just a list of questions or topics you plan to cover during the party.
6. Set Up Your Party Landing Page
People who enjoy your party will want to know where they can get more of the same buzz they got from hanging out in the space you created.
Be prepared for this, and set up a landing page ahead of time where people who attended your party can sign up to receive your email newsletter.
To encourage as many sign-ups as possible, create a one-time only giveaway for everyone who signs up. This could be an ebook, report or discount coupon for your business.
7. Be a Good Host: Mind Your Manners
Just because you’re online isn’t a license to lose all sense of etiquette. Whether you’re the host or a guest, be as polite and charming to those you meet as you would in real life.
My grandfather had nine children, and to keep the peace he used to say “Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind?”
(According to legend, Buddha used to say something similar, so we’re in good company here.)
Is it necessary? Keep on topic. Sure, you can talk about your business or your latest idea to rock the world, as long as it’s relevant. Don’t use a Twitter party to spam everyone who turns up. People have come for conversation, not to have your business forced on them. That just puts a bitter taste in the atmosphere.
Is it true? At networking events it can be tempting to big yourself up. By all means, put your best foot forward, but stick to the truth. There’s no need to exaggerate. Just by being alive you are a remarkable, wonderful human being.
Is it kind? Be nice to people. Don’t pick a fight. Online, it’s difficult to hear tone of voice, so misunderstandings can quickly spiral out of control. And on that note, Twitter parties are not an occasion for cussing.
Infographic courtesy of Boot Camp Digital.
8. Remember You’re Not Superman (or Superwoman)
If your party goes to plan and you get the big guest list you intend, you’ll find it impossible to follow everything that’s said.
In a real life party, you wouldn’t expect to be part of everyone’s conversation for the whole evening. The same is true on Twitter.
You can’t be everywhere and follow all the conversation. A good party host knows how to set things up so the party just happens around them. They let it play out and plunge into the good times with everyone else, only tweaking things subtly here and there.
If everything’s going well, stand back and let it happen.
9. Clean up: Track Your Results
The morning after a party is typically a time of nursing hangovers and cleaning up. With a Twitter party, you’ve not made any mess, you’ve just increased your online footprint.
After your party, take the time to assess what difference it has made to your business. Remember to not only look at the stats on the day of the party, but for the time leading up to the party.
- How many more Twitter followers do you have?
- How much has your email list increased by?
- How many tweets were sent with your party’s hashtag?
- How did your website traffic change in the build up to and during the party?
- What’s the impact on your bottom line? How have sales changed?
10. Ask for Feedback – Any Comments?
Tracking your stats isn’t the only way to find out the impact of your party. What else can you do?
Get out there and talk to your customers – the people who attended your party. Did they have a good time? Did it meet their expectations? What else would they want from a future party?
All this gives you an insight into what your customers need and helps you when you’re planning your next party.
8 Golden Rules To Attract Twitter Traffic
John Paul Aguiar
7 Tips for Driving Targeted Traffic With Twitter
Social Media Examiner
10 Tips To Drive Twitter Traffic To Your Blog
For More Tips + Tricks
- Sprout Social
What are your thoughts and tips on the best way to host a Twitter party? What has been your best (or worst!) experience of attending an online event?
[Tweet “"Signs of a good night: you wake up with your sunglasses on." – Unknown”]
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